The markets got clobbered last month, and that's reflected in the confidence levels of both affluent investors (those with $500,000 or more in investable assets) and millionaire investors that dipped again at the end of June to reach near-record lows, according to the most recent measure compiled by Spectrem Group.
Based on interviews with 250 affluent investors, the confidence index dropped 4 points to -17 at the end of June, the second lowest point after a -20 reading at the end of March. The index had risen a bit to -13 in April and May.
Likewise, the millionaire index dropped from -9 in May to -12 in June. This is the third lowest level ever reached since the index's inception in February 2004. Both other low points on the millionaire scale occurred earlier this year in March (-13) and April (-14).
The interviews are conducted with financial decision makers in the affluent families. The millionaire index is a subset of 100 included in the 250 affluent investors. When questioned about their biggest concerns regarding reaching their financial goals, the largest group of millionaire investors (19%) said the political climate was their biggest concern, while the largest group of affluent investors (20%) were concerned about the economy. The market and unemployment finished next.
"Throughout the first half of the year, both groups have hovered around mildly bearish levels, with the affluent generally a bit more pessimistic than millionaires," says George H. Walper Jr., Spectrem Group president. "It seems clear that both groups are entering the second half of the year in the grips of the same general malaise that defined 2008's first six months."